The pattern of movement of animals during (terrestrial) locomotion.
Gaits used by cats and dogs include the walk, the amble, the pace, the trot, the canter and the gallop.
A phase of a gait when all four feet are off the ground.
A symmetrical, two-beat gait in which diagonally contralateral limbs move in unison.
This is an endurance gait, which allows coverage of ground at a reasonable speed but without expending maximum energy. The trot may, therefore, be maintained for hours.
This is a four-beat gait, at which an animal reaches its fastest speeds.
The suspended gallop has suspension phases (when no feet are in contact with the ground).
There are two varieties of the suspended gallop: the single suspension gallop and the double suspension gallop.
A gallop in which at least one limb in on the ground at any one time.
This is more usually known as a canter, and is contrasted with the (full) gallop.
Double Suspension Gallop
An asymmetrical, four-beat, leaping gait in which there are two suspension phases.
In the first suspension phase, forelimbs are fully extended forwards while the hind limbs extend backwards, and in the second suspension phase both fore- and hind limbs are gathered (airborne) under the body.
Relating to the same side of the body.
For example, ipsilateral limbs are limbs that are on the same side of the body.
Relating to the opposite side of the body.
For example, diagonally contralateral limbs are limbs on diagonally opposite sides of the body.
Footsteps, the setting down of a foot.
The pattern of
footfall constitutes the gait.
The imprinting of a footfall into the substrate (ground) makes a track.
An asymmetrical, four-beat
gait, in which there is just
suspension phase, which occurs when all four limbs
are airborne, gathered (collected) under the body. All four limbs
contact the ground separately, none in unison.
sequence is typical of the single suspension gallop:
right hind foot, left hind foot, right forefoot, left
forefoot followed by a single collected suspension phase.
This type of gallop is adopted by horses and most dogs.
Sighthounds and a few other dog breeds use a
double suspension gallop.